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An oval shape diamond is an elongated version of a round brilliant diamond, and when well cut and proportioned, it displays great brilliance, fire and scintillation.

The oval diamond has 56 to 58 facets, and is essentially a round brilliant diamond with an elliptical shape rather than a round shape. It presents a larger surface area than a round diamond, giving the appearance of a larger diamond for the same carat weight. Its optimal length to width ratio is 1.3 – 1.65 to 1, giving the stone evenly rounded ends and a full middle.

How narrow or broad the cut varies though, and buyers are advised to select the proportion best suited to their personal preferences. A slightly narrower cut is very attractive in a setting where the stone is flanked by smaller diamonds on either side of it.

If cut poorly, the oval diamond may display a “bowtie” effect (this occurs when there are facets in a diamond that do not reflect light properly, regardless of the direction in which the diamond is tilted). The bowtie effect causes dark patches to be displayed in the middle of the stone. Though a subtle bowtie effect is common in oval shaped diamonds, it is best to avoid purchasing an oval diamond that displays a severe bowtie effect, as it will have a negative impact on the value of the diamond.

The oval diamond can be set in most settings, and is ideal for those who wish to give the illusion of longer, thinner fingers.


Because of the similar fire and brilliance between a round and oval diamond, the oval is an ideal choice for the buyer who likes the look of a round diamond, but wants something a little bit more unique. Hugely popular ever since it was first created, the oval diamond is a modern diamond shape with great versatility: it is an attractive choice for both modern and traditional settings. The oval cut is not just reserved for diamonds, but is a beautiful shape for gemstones too.

Personality traits associated with the attraction for the oval shape are creativity, individualism and risk-taking. The lustre and fire achieved by this beautiful diamond shape makes it a popular choice for engagement rings.

Famous oval shaped diamonds include the 184-carat Victoria diamond (cut in 1887) and the Koh-I-Noor diamond, which belongs to Queen Elizabeth II.

It is a popular diamond shape among the rich and famous, with Princess Diana’s engagement ring (which is today worn by Kate Middleton) featuring one of the most famous examples of the oval cut.